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White Spots After Whitening Your Teeth: Causes and Solutions

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A certain amount of patience is required when you whiten your teeth at home. Most of the kits designed for home use offer gradual results, with your teeth becoming slightly whiter with each successive treatment. Naturally you would want a uniformity of colour in your teeth, and this is why the end result can be confusing and even a little disconcerting for some people. If you have whitened your teeth, only to be left with a number of small white spots on your teeth, there is a perfectly rational reason for this. However, it might not necessarily be something that you were previously aware of. So what can cause these small white spots to emerge on your teeth as you whiten them? And what can be done about it?

Some Causes of White Spots

These white spots could be caused by inconsistencies in your dental enamel; they're essentially patches where the enamel is thinner. Beyond mere periodontal disease which has resulted in degradation of the enamel, there are a number of causes for these inconsistencies.

  1. Dental fluorosis, wherein a substantial amount of fluoride exposure occurred during tooth formation. The primary issue in mild fluorosis is the cosmetic appearance of the teeth (such as the appearance of white spots), although severe fluorosis can affect the structural integrity of teeth.

  2. Naturally occurring irregular levels of enamel on the surface areas of the teeth (which might have taken place during the growth of your adult teeth).

  3. Enamel that has been partially reduced in places after some types of orthodontics (such as braces) have been removed.

It might be that these spots were always there, but whitening has simply made them far more visible. So what can you do about these white spots?

Treatment Options for White Spots

A visit to your dentist will be beneficial (and indeed, necessary). Attempting to whiten your teeth even further can exacerbate the white spots, and certainly won't help to achieve uniformity of colour. Your dentist will need to ensure that any white spots are not a weakening in the enamel caused by periodontal disease. If so, preventative measures will be needed. In other cases, enamel microabrasion can correct the issue. This involves a strategic amount of enamel being removed to achieve uniformity of colour without weakening your teeth.

It's important that you don't disregard these white spots that might appear on your teeth after whitening. While in many cases they are harmless and can easily be removed with some professional intervention, it's still important to rule out periodontal disease.